Well it’s a ‘where do I start’ kind of blog entry this I suppose… I should begin by introducing myself; I’m Matthew Krysko and I am a proud resident of this our great city of Manchester. I have spent the last 11 years making a (kind of) good name for myself on the ‘underground’ house scene across the city, and around the UK in general – mainly as a DJ and music producer.
That’s enough of my history as I think this platform is for me to show/write/inform you (whoever you are) what I will be doing her at the Whitworth for the coming year and beyond…
As you may or may not know; as part of the PRS New Music plus Programme I have been partnered with the Whitworth to be ‘in-house’ music producer. Coming from the background I have my initial thoughts with working alongside the Whitworth was, what on earth do I do now?! Thankfully that was short lasting. – Check out the video below.
Since arriving here back in February I have been partnered with the lovely Naomi Kashiwagi as a co-producer, and we have developed over the last 5 months an idea titled… Whitworth In The Mix.
Now it may to some of you sound somewhat contrived, in the mix, mixing, DJ’ing etc but trust me it isn’t! This idea really takes on and challenges the art of the DJ in a conceptual way that turns it around and flips it on its head. Through In The Mix I will be DJ’ing (in a way) with art, sound, concepts, architecture, commissions and of course at the heart of it all… The Whitworth.
As myself and Naomi were out of our comfort zones in working with each other we devised a plan to try gain an understanding of each others ‘worlds’. This turned out to be a great idea… firstly Naomi & Dean from the Whitworth came to one of my shows at the Warehouse Project, they came early doors to see the set up of my equipment and sound-check, how it was all put together prior to ‘doors’; and of course where my drinks rider was kept. Unfortunately that night I had to head off to another gig around 2am, and with a little bit of concern as to how my guests would fair, I needn’t of worried – when I left they were most of the way through the drinks and were all dancing on stage. A success.
My visit into Naomi’s world was equally as successful in a completely opposite way. She took me along to see Trio Atem (an experimental classical ensemble) the collective pieces of music that we heard that night were of nothing I had ‘heard’ previously in my life. Now I write ‘heard’ because of the context of the effect that this show had on me. Let me explain; I have tinnitus, nothing bad, it just comes and goes and it’s of a frequency that I have learned to deal with through the years – with tinnitus you never hear silence. Now at some points in these performances I heard the loudest silence I have ever heard. It was the kind of silence I remember going to sleep as a kid when I lived out in the hill (not literally, in a house, in the hills). This was a hell of a thing for me to ‘hear’ after all these years, it was quite an experience to be honest – and in a strange way very uncomfortable. Some of the silence got so loud that all I wanted to do was make a noise! I think it really emphasized the world I am involved in, constant noise. Maybe I’ve grown too comfortable with it through the years and my reaction to the deafening silence was because I was out of my comfort zone, WELL out of it.
From the intenseness of silence to the more traditional intenseness of sound and visuals (welcome to my world Naomi!). The elaboration of my experience to Naomi was to take her to a Chris Cunningham Live gig at Manchester Opera House. Now this isn’t traditionally my usual working environment, BUT, it was about as close to how intense it can get. To give you an idea, here’s a link to some of Chris Cunningham’s work – probably best known for his collaboration with Aphex Twin (a legendary secretive artist in the underground world of electronic music, you can see his most famous video here, but BE WARNED
Now that’s pretty intense isn’t it? Now imagine hearing seeing it on giant screens, hearing it on a Funktion 1 (world’s best sound system) and with a mark 2 green ‘rave’ laser pointed right at you – now funnily enough this is all in a days work for me, but Naomi’s reaction? I couldn’t possibly comment.
Although I think the experience from each of these musical & environmental reconnaissance trips into each others world if you like, has helped us gain a better understanding where each of us is coming from as producers.
Now to the project – After much research and many ideas later, we slowly worked our way toward a coherent and specifically shaped idea for a project for my Whitworth residency, and it’s called… Whitworth In The Mix.
The main crux of this project as an overview goes as follows; that as a DJ and music producer, I propose to commission a series of sound/noise/music performances that will contribute to a resource of sonic material that I will use to sample and integrate into an ambitious music and visual outside/inside production, In The Mix at the Whitworth Art Gallery. Sounds interesting eh? Well it is, slightly daunting at the beginning when the idea was taking shape, but as it has developed and become more coherent (like these things do with time) I am very excited about how it will take shape. It will coincide with The Land Between Us, which as you know, is a provocatively curated landscape exhibition opening in September, here at the Whitworth.
Now without going into the really fine details, and probably boring you to tears with it… here is a brief selection of what we intend initiate, explore and indeed perform as part of this cutting edge programme;
We will be performing as a duo and this will be called Krysko & Kashiwagi… In The Mix (funnily enough) on 2nd October 5-9pm and the best thing is it’s Free. This’ll be a one-off gig that’s part performance art and part club night for Manchester Weekender. We will perform a new set using both wind-up gramophones and the latest digital DJ technology, don’t ask me how – we just will.
Huw Bunford (Super Furry Animals) will be performing a commissioned sound piece made up of unexpected everyday sounds from the Whitworth… and finally ‘Journey into The Outside with Jarvis Cocker’; a documentary about Outsider Art by Jarvis Cocker will be screened and introduced by a special guest!
Further down the line and toward the real core of the project will be ‘Whitworth In The Mix’ on 13th November, 7-10pm and once again it’s free. This will see myself and an old mate and visual artist and Visual DJ, G-Kut DJing and VJing with the history of the Whitworth and its future as a 21st century gallery in a park. As I said before, at this stage I only want to tease as opposed to over egg the pudding as it were, we will update you on a regular basis as these ideas take shape, change, or indeed get completely scrapped for another great idea, whichever.
That’s all for now, inabit.